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Crossing the generational divide: providing customer service for today's consumers

Our new survey explores how different generations perceive and prefer to interact with your company's customer service. And more importantly, we share how fast-growing companies can apply these insights to their support strategy.

Our new survey explores how different generations perceive and prefer to interact with customer service. And more importantly, how fast-growing companies can apply these insights to their support strategy. The main takeaways include:

Supporting ever channel matters: 41% of all groups check a company's FAQ first when they have a question. 41% of Boomers and Gen Xers prefer interacting with customer service over the phone but 80% of them consider dealing with customer service over the phone not convenient. All generations choose Facebook over all of the other social platforms to interact with companies when they need support. 24% of Millennials prefer online chat for customer service.

Speed is critical for customer support because consumers have high expectations in today's on-demand world and expect to hear from a company in 10 minutes or less even though 60% of people believe it should be 5 minutes or less. Interestingly enough, Millennials are willing to wait 5 minutes longer than Gen Xers and Boomers when reaching out to customer service on the phone. And 67% of Americans expect the fastest support response to come via chat.

Companies should ultimately remember that support interactions are opportunities for brand loyalty. The impact of a negative support interaction can be crippling to a small business: On average it takes 3 bad support interactions for customers to stop using a brand. 27% of Millennials would stop using a brand after just 1 bad support interaction. Boomers are 60% more likely than Millennials and Gen Xers to share bad experiences with people they know or the brand itself. However, Americans are just as likely to talk about their customer service experiences with people they know, whether they're 56% negative or 55% positive.

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